Keep Your Eyesight and Fingers on July 4

by: Aynsley Anderson, RN, LMH WellCare

It is almost time for the July 4th holiday. For many people, this means family, friends, food, fun, and fireworks. Here are some fast (and serious) facts about fireworks from the National Fire Protection Association, and the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshall. Have a safe and happy 4th!

Fireworks over LMH photo

▪Each year, thousands of people are injured on July 4th while using consumer fireworks. In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries. 55% of these fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head.

▪2013 statistics for Kansas (with 37% of hospitals in Kansas reporting), indicated 133 injuries from fireworks, with fortunately no deaths. 47% of these injuries occurred on July 4. 49% of injuries were to the hand and 24% to the face and eyes.

▪Statistics also show that most U.S. emergency room visits for firework injuries are from fireworks that are legal for consumers to use. Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone, accounted for 34% of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011.

▪Did you know that the tip of a sparkler (a common firework for kids to use) burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Farenheit? This is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. To put that in perspective, water boils at 212 degrees Farenheit.
▪The risk of injury from fireworks is highest for children ages 5-19 and adults ages 25-44.

▪In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires across the U.S., including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with fortunately, no reported fire deaths. In a typical year on July 4th, fireworks account for two out of five reported fires.

▪Stay safe on the Fourth. Observe any fireworks bans in your community. For information on the City of Lawrence’s fireworks ordinance, go to

▪The safest way enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show conducted by trained professionals

If you are going to use fireworks, use common sense, have a clear and sober mind, and always supervise children who are around fireworks.

Take some time to go to the National Safety Council website for “using fireworks safely.”

Submitted by: Aynsley Anderson, RN, LMH WellCare

Keep your eyesight and fingers on July 4

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